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Oct 24, 2012 11:20 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Shinnecocks Vote To Oust Gumbs, Wright, Others From Tribal Leadership

Oct 24, 2012 12:10 PM

Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation voted on Tuesday night to remove four of its leaders, including two of the three elected Tribal Trustees, from their official duties.

More than 190 members of the tribe voted on Tuesday night in a vote that was called by petition, not by the sitting Trustees, and was held over the objections of the Tribal Council. Vote totals were not available, but members of the tribe confirmed that a majority voted to remove Tribal Trustees Lance Gumbs and Gordell Wright and Gaming Authority members Barre Hamp and Phil Brown from their official positions, and to bar former Tribal Council member Charles Randall from representing the tribe in any way.

The men who were the subject of the vote on Tuesday continued their objections to the holding of the vote, and the Tribal Trustees penned a letter to all tribe members on Monday saying that Tuesday’s vote would be in violation of tribal bylaws. But Tribal Trustees Chairman Randy King, who would be the only member of the sitting Trustees remaining if the vote is ratified, also sent a letter to tribe members on Monday saying that he was not a party to the letter.

“I have publicly stated that I did not direct or authorize the vote from my position as chairman of the Board of Trustees; but I also stated that I would never stand in the way of the Nation as it continues its thousands upon thousands of years of sovereignty and self-governance,” Mr. King’s letter reads. “As a Trustee, I am directed by the Nation.”

In July, 91 members attended an impromptu meeting of the tribal Council of Elders and voted to suspend the four men over the objections of members of the Tribal Council.

The men claim that they are being painted as rogues by Michael Malik, the owner of Gateway Casino Resorts, the Detroit-based casino development company that has been bankrolling the tribe’s efforts to build the first Vegas-style casino on Long Island.

Documents sent to tribe members last month, and shared anonymously with The Press, appear to show that the five men had been working with a real estate development firm on plans to purchase thousands of acres of land in Suffolk County for the development of a second casino.

The men claim that the effort was in the best interest of the tribe.

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By littleplains (305), olde england on Oct 24, 12 1:32 PM
2 members liked this comment
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Oct 24, 12 7:04 PM
I hope the Tribe builds in Hampton Bays and says FU to everyone who has denied them their rights!!! They were here FIRST and are the REAL locals!!! They should do whatever is best for them! I support them 100%!! Build Baby Build!!!
By MsRainbow (19), Southampton on Oct 24, 12 7:07 PM
1 member liked this comment
Now we know who runs the tribe! The Indain Gaming Act of 1988, prohibits managers from being involved in the decisions of the tribal govrnment. Maybe a do over is in order!
By wynn7777 (1), Mt. Plrasant on Oct 25, 12 7:58 PM